Dr. David Suzuki

by Philip from Toronto

Dr. David Suzuki has not had an easy life. Born in 1936, during the Second World War, he, a Canadian of Japanese descent, was put into an internment camp, along with the rest of his family, at the young, impressionable age of six. It wasn’t until the April of 1946 that the Japanese Canadians regained their rights in Canada, so, for almost four years he was badly treated along with thousands of other Japanese Canadians.


Having such a rough start can ruin many people’s lives, but that was not true for Dr. Suzuki. After being released from the internment camps, Suzuki and his family were relocated to London, Ontario, where he went to school. Being the very bright person that he is, he graduated and went to Amherst College in Massachusetts with a scholarship. After graduation, he moved on to receive his PhD in zoology from the University of Chicago and started teaching at the University of Alberta, then at the University of British Columbia.

Since then, Dr. Suzuki has had many days in the spotlight. Initially appearing as a guest on other shows, David Suzuki quickly decided, having seen all the support he received and the effect he was having on people, to start his own show on CBC. The weekly show Suzuki on Science was then born. Four years later, he founded CBC radio’s Quirks and Quarks, a show that is still on the air to this day. Following those two shows, Dr. Suzuki starred on The Nature of Things in 1979 which quickly became a very popular show on CBC television.


In 1990, he founded the David Suzuki Foundation, a foundation dedicated to helping the environment by educating people about its problems focusing on four main areas: oceans and sustainable fishing, climate change and clean energy, sustainability, and the Nature Challenge. The foundation is a non-profit organisation and offers tips to help save money and the environment by doing things like “buy a car suitable for city driving, and use your fuel savings to pay for the occasional rental of a larger vehicle.” Instead of buying an SUV when you will only need it once a year to pull the trailer up to the cottage.

David Suzuki is now retired and is living in the Kitsilano area of British Columbia. He spends his time going from town to town giving lectures about environmental protection, convinces people that our environmental problems are real and that we, the everyday person, can make a difference. He teaches people the benefits of simply turning off the lights after you leave a room and turning the temperature down a bit in the winter and he is working hard to improve our planet, simply because he loves nature and wants other people to be able to share his passion, something that will be impossible if all the animals start dying and their natural habitats are all destroyed.

I chose David Suzuki as my hero because he teaches many morals. The first thing he taught me is that you can overcome adversity. By succeeding in life, even after having grown up in an internment camp, he showed this very well. The other thing I learned from him is that every person can make a difference. By teaching people to conserve energy and be eco-friendly, he is making a difference in the world and inspired millions to do the same. David Suzuki, you are my hero.

Page created on 4/28/2009 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 4/28/2009 12:00:00 AM

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